Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Mormon Coffee » Changes to Gospel Principles

The following are the remarks of one man to the changes in the fundamental Mormon Gospel Principles Manual. Aaron Shafovaloff of Mormonism Researched Ministry is doing a good job of cataloguing the changes and although it is no surprise to see these changes it is still shocking to realise how insidious and cynical they are. Aaron’s project is ongoing so readers may wish to keep going back to see what are the latest revelations (pardon the pun).

“1st off, I was quite angry as I read this this morning; as I told my wife, the Bishop stood right here in this living room and told us we were forfeiting our blessings and rejecting precious truths. Truths that are now crossed out. These very things that won’t be taught anymore, were weapons to be held against us last year and this year.

2nd, after that I felt a profound sense of relief. If this is not going to be taught then the Bishop can go eat sand. If these vital teachings can no longer be held inviolate, then the brethren have no right to demand my allenience and I can resign with a clear conscience.

3rd suspicion. Will these teachings get sprung on people once they commit? Or, are people going to join the church and be denied the same teachings, promises and expectations that we had? And if so, why? Is this the day when the very elect will be deceived?

And, could I be punished for teaching new members things that the manual has changed?

Despite this all, these teachings are false anyway. It is important to get rid of them. They are enslaving, they are not biblical, and they are a cause of contention between us and other faiths. But still, if the church was the authority on spiritual matters, it would not adopt the outside world view.

Nevertheless, just this Spring our Bishop stood here in this living room and condemned me and my family for rejecting the things that are now crossed out.”

Mormon Coffee » Changes to Gospel Principles


Seth R. said...

What changes in particular did you find the most telling?

Mike's 4 Tea said...


I wonder what your take is on this?

The most telling thing for me is the fact of doctrinal change. Mormonism claims to be the very antithesis of those things that lead the churches into apostasy, i.e. doctrinal confusion, ambiguity, etc. By that test is the Mormon Church apostate in light of these and many other changes?

The second concern is expressed well by the man who is angry because his bishop had previously judged his "worthiness" by those principles that are no longer included in the new edition of the manual. I can live with change and correction but to hold people to account on the basis of what turns out to be nothing more than contingent is a scandal.

Major changes include hiding the idea that Mormons expect to become gods and making it sound like the orthodox teaching. It is also ironic in light of your comment on the Staylds story on this blog that they have watered down the promise of unerring guidance by apostles and prophets. They have also removed the characterisation of the church as "perfect".

It is also significant that they have removed any suggestion that believers need to develop "a personal relationship with Jesus".

Of course, none of this will be mentioned let alone explained and those who have previously suffered censur from the Mormon leadership for not adhering to the party line on some issues will wake up to find they were right all along - although the Mormon Church, of course, was never wrong, being led by apostles and prophets and all.

Seth R. said...

Oh, I was just talking about the link to Aaron's outline of what stayed in and what was altered or taken out.

I read through it, and a lot of it seemed to be simply taking sentences that were too wordy and making them more concise without changing the meaning in any significant way.

Others might very well be taken as softpedalling on certain doctrines.

I was just wondering which ones stood out for you.

Mike's 4 Tea said...

Yes, there is a certain amount of verbiage removed. There is nothing wrong with being succinct. But there are major changes it seems to me and I suppose the biggest implication is still the things to which Mormons were once held as a test of orthodoxy and maybe to get a temple recommend.

When I was a Mormon some of these were key doctrines and no one would have dreamed that one day they would not be.

What do you see as "soft-pedalling" as you put it? Do you see anything you would consider important?